It was recently brought to FAAR’s attention that Stafford County was looking to rewrite their sign ordinance to comply with a 2015 Supreme Court decision.  The court case affirmed that local government cannot regulate signs on content, the words on the sign.  Stafford’s sign ordinance is all about what’s on the sign so they need to revise the ordinance or else they are open to potential litigation.  The first draft of the proposed ordinance would require a permit for any temporary sign with an installed duration of longer than 60 days.  That obviously doesn’t work for real estate and FAAR immediately engaged members of Stafford’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to negotiate a fix.
After considerable research and negotiation with the County, FAAR has developed a set of recommendations that would accomplish Stafford’s need to revise their sign ordinance to be content-neutral while also preserving the exemption for real estate. Please click here to read the letter that FAAR has sent to each member of the Board of Supervisors.  This issue is not settled yet, but FAAR and officials from Stafford continue to work together to reach a solution.  The relationships that FAAR has been able to establish through campaign support from RPAC, the Realtors® Political Action Committee, absolutely ensured that we were involved in this process at the beginning and not fighting an expensive and onerous sign regulation after it was in effect.